Sunday, January 2, 2011


The Bible speaks of new beginnings many times. The first book, Genesis, is named for the beginning, and starts out with, "In the beginning...." In Chapter Four, we are told that men began to call upon the name of the Lord (YHVH). It took three generations before man understood his need for God's help. Adam's son, Seth, had a son, Enosh, and only then did man begin calling on the Lord. We are such slow learners.

The Gospel of John starts with the same three words: "In the beginning...." The subject in Genesis 1:1 and in John 1:1 is the same. In John, the "Word" is a title for Jesus, Who is in fact God. This is obvious from reading the entire first verse of John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In verse fourteen, John tells us that "...the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth."

So did Jesus begin at the moment of His conception, at His birth, or some other time? The answer is that He did not begin! He is God, and God is eternal. Over and over again, Jesus speaks of being with the Father before the foundation of the world, which by the way, Jesus created (Jn. 1:1-3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; and Heb. 1:1-2). He told His opponents that He lived before Abraham (Jn. 8:58). In John 17:5, Jesus prays to the Father and says, "And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." The Son of God had no beginning, but He chose to become a man in order to die for us. And because He made that choice, you and I can have a new beginning. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that when we believe in Christ, we become a new creature (creation). We begin a new life, a new life that will have its final change when we see Jesus (1 Jn. 3:2).

We are now beginning the New Year. Millions will make New Year's resolutions. Why do people do that? I believe it is because they feel that the previous year(s) were a disappointment. It is as though they are saying, I messed up last year, but I am going to begin doing things the right way. It would be nice if that was all it took to change, but in my experience, it wasn't until I turned my life over to the Lord that it truly changed. And, as He reveals areas where I am still falling short (and there are many, many), I turn each over to Him so that He can change the desires of my heart to be like His. God is not finished with me yet. I am a work in progress. But no matter how disappointed I am in myself, He is neither disappointed nor surprised. He just "rolls up His sleeves" and stays on task: He is making me like Jesus. I admit He has His work cut out for Him, but I am absolutely certain that He is up to the task. Praise God! So this year, why not accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and let His resolve to change His children, begin in you? You will not be sorry, I promise.

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